Honey and Lavender Baked French Toast

Photos by Jaymi Heimbuch

September is National Honey Month and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate than with this honey and lavender baked french toast. Okay, that is a lie. Honey is amazing and I can think of at least 317 ways to celebrate right now. But let's start here...and with a mimosa in hand.

  • 1 large loaf soft white Italian bread
  • 6 eggs (cage free please)
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 3 tablespoons ground lavender
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup of honey

1. Slice the bread into 1" slices. Remove the crust if you like, but I actually prefer the look and texture of it.

2. In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs and then stir in the honey, nutmeg, clove, salt, and vanilla. Mix well.

3. In a 9 x 13 dish, place as many bread slices as you can fit by pushing them together. You don't want to stack them, but overlapping is okay.

4. In a small pot, warm the cream and stir in the lavender. I forgot to grind my lavender when making this recipe. So, do as I say, not as I did.

5. Warm the mixture for about 15 minutes. Strain out the lavender and chill the cream for at least an hour. I usually do this the day before as I like my lavender french toast with a lot of ka-pow.

4. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Then follow with the lavender-cream.

5. Cover and let it stand in the refrigerator overnight. By doing so, your french toast will have this wonderful bread-pudding-like texture. If you are in a rush, then let's get to baking it.

6. Dust the top with some nutmeg and clove and bake the dish for about 30 minutes at 350° or until it browns over.

9. Remove the french toast from the oven and finish with some whipped butter or a drizzle of maple syrup. The lavender notes will be delicate so please don't drown them with too much dressing.

I topped mine with some blueberries but really, even that was too much. Keep it simple and enjoy!

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